Game Blog: Redskins 17, Giants 24

Rich Tandler offers his insight with a game blog about the game.

Postgame

I hate spiking the ball. Always have, always will. Even more so after the wasting of a down cost the Redskins a shot at taking their game into overtime.

It was Joe Gibbs call to have Jason Campbell spike the ball after the QB threw for a first down at the two. Gibbs explained that he wanted to get the jumbo package in and that's all well and good. But why waste a play? Why let the defense get set? Why not take a shot at a TD?

Or, there was plenty of time to get Mike Pucillo into the game, run a quick huddle, and run an actual play. Twenty seconds remained when Ladell Betts was stopped on fourth down. The Skins wasted an opportunity and left time on the clock in the process.

The term "poor clock management" gets thrown around a lot, often without justification. This time, both the clock and the opportunities were horribly mismanaged.

First Quarter

14:52—If the Giants tackle anything like they did during Rock Cartwright’s 37-yard return of the opening kickoff, the Redskins will be able to name the score.

14:25—I don’t know why Saunders doesn’t call for the pitchout to Portis more often. He did it early here; let’s see how often he goes with it the rest of the way.

10:59—If Sellers wants to get the ball more often, he’s going to have to catch passes like that easy one in the flat he dropped.

10:48—Good drive, bad conclusion. Suisham’s first miss of the year comes from 39 yards to waste what was a very promising opening drive. The Redskins are running wide more than usual; every one of their running plays was of the sweep variety. Look for more between the tackles as the game goes on.

10:36—The Giants used the Redskins’ aggressiveness against them with a play action to Shockey. I’m not sure who was supposed to covering him, but he sure was open.

8:02—On third and 10, the Redskins used a straight four-man rush and the coverage held Shockey to a gain of about eight and change.

FG Tynes 34
Giants 3, Redskins 0

7:07—There we go, a straight Power-I formation, Portis right up the middle for three yards, then three more off tackle with a nice spin move. Need to mix it up.

5:56—Almost the weekly mistake by Campbell as Sam Madison drops a sure interception.

5:37—The Redskins’ biweekly turnover comes when Manning gets blindsided by Carter and London Fletcher gets the loose ball.

4:57—Love that short field to work with. Two plays, six yards, touchdown.

Portis 1 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 7, Giants 3

4:57—Portis now has 21 touchdowns in his last 22 games.

4:49—I counted six yellow helmets around Droughns on a 16-yard kickoff return. They’re flying to the ball.

1:45—I like the Giants’ play calling. They ran for a first on third and three and then on second and short they went play action deep. The latter strategy backfired when Ward got stuffed on third and one, but when you’re 0-2, you have to shake things up a bit.

0:12—You have to love Campbell’s running. When he decides to go, he goes.

End of first quarter
Redskins 7, Giants 3

Second quarter

13:32—Some sloppy endings to drives. They’ll bust out a couple of first downs and then the wheels come off.  It’s the manifestation of Campbell’s growing pains.

12:23—A very generous spot may have given the Giants a first down on third and eight. . . Nope, just inches short. That could have been challenged if they had enough for the first.

12:00—Cooley gets his first catch with a three-yarder, his first non-critical catch of the year. Of course, the Giants haven’t come close to covering a tight end this year, so it’s kind of surprising #47 hasn’t seen more action.

10:14--There we go, Campbell to Cooley for seven and a first down.

9:52—Wow, what a catch by Moss! Yeah, I know that’s real professional, hard-hitting analysis, but that’s about all you can say!

8:33—Oh, yeah, pretty good throw by Campbell, too.

Cooley 8 pass from Campbell (Suisham kick)
Redskins 14, Giants 3

7:55—It’s too early to say that the rout is on, but the Redskins certainly are doing what they needed to do—not let the underdog hang around and stay close. The Skins need to keep the pedal to the metal, something they have had a hard time doing in the recent past.

4:46—No secret or magic as to why the Redskins defense is so much better this year than last—they are tackling. Burress catches a third and ten pass eight yards downfield and is stopped immediately. Last year the receiver wriggles free for the first.

2:00—A drive that would have essentially ended it wound up in near disaster as Campbell was blindsided twice. Fortunately a fumble recovered by Samuels was nullified by an offside and his arm was just starting its forward motion when Sam Madison knocked the ball out on a corner blitz. The Giants defense hasn’t quit, but they’re getting desperate.

2:00—Nary a Shockey sighting since the early going. Have to think they’re going to look for him soon.

1:33—Another turnover? On the rebound, Fletcher gets his second of the day. DE Demetric Evans, back in coverage, got the tip. Actually Evans dropped and easy pick and Fletcher scooped it up.

0:04—Rather unimpressed with the play calling after the turnover. You have to be more aggressive when you’re playing with house money like that.

0:00—Suisham is back in the groove.

FG Suisham 47
Redskins 17, Giants 3

That was a big turnaround on the reversal of the Burress catch and then the interception by Fletcher. The Giants were on the edge of scoring territory and then suddenly it’s the Redskins with the ball kicking the field goal. Still, I would have liked to see the Skins take at least one shot at the end zone on that sequence. I’m a big fan of going for the TD on the first play after a turnover, especially one that was such a big momentum swing. It probably won’t come back to haunt them, but you never know.

Halftime
Redskins 17, Giants 13

Third Quarter

(No time as Fox ticker is not working and I can’t see the scoreboard.)

--Whatever Burress took at halftime, I want some. He’s made a couple of nice catches and has some good YAC. If he gets hot, the Giants could get back into it.

--Too much time for Manning. He had all day to pass to Shockey to set up a first and goal at the one.

Droughns 1 run (Tynes kick)
Redskins 17, Giants 10

9:50—Manning had time to get the ball to his primary guys, Burress and Shockey, and it’s a ballgame again. The Washington offense needs to respond.

9:07—Campbell’s main problems passing seem to come on the intermediate routes. He’s fine short, the can drop a bomb on a dime, but those 15-yard patterns seem to create problems.

8:53—This may be the key possession of the game right here. After the Giants drive for the TD, the Redskins go three and out. If the Giants drive for any kind of score, it’s going down to the wire. If the Skins force a three and out, they’re somewhat back in control.

8:38—Third and six. Here it is.

7:53—A nice catch by Shockey with McIntosh draped all over him.

7:13—The tackling is getting sloppy, thus the Giants are moving the ball.

6:30—First false start for the Giants, kind of surprising as that’s something they’re noted for when they’re on the road.

6:00—Yet another turnover for the Redskins. I don’t know what Eli thought he was doing, heaving that ball downfield. It was as good as a punt, I guess, but it was on first down. The Redskins aren’t out of the woods as they’re on the 14 and need to put a drive together.

6:00—That’s the first clean interception for the Redskins—not off a deflection—since last year.

4:31—I didn’t like that Campbell scramble. It looked like he had Thrash open on a crossing route but he tucked it in and ran. Giants ball with good field position after the punt.

2:50—I’m pretty impressed with Derrick Ward. He’s not getting a whole lot of running room, but he’s hitting the holes hard and he’s moving well after he catches the ball. Brandon Jacobs might have a hard time getting all of his carries back when he’s healthy.

2:20—Another nice catch by Burress, Giants on the move.

1:00—Third and six. See if the Skins can minimize the damage here.

0:20—Shockey again, not sure if he got it. If not, they’ll go for it, I’m pretty sure.

0:06—He got it.

End of third quarter
Redskins 17, Giants 10

Fourth Quarter

14:52—It appeared that the FedEx crowd had fallen asleep, they’re waking up now with the Giants knocking on the door looking to tie.

14:08—Crowd nearly caused a delay of game as Eli couldn’t get his audible in and called timeout as the play clock wound down.

13:55—Turnover number four comes as Derrick Ward loses the ball after getting the first down on a draw. It’s being challenged, though, and it looks like his elbow may have been down, causing the ball to come loose.

13:55—Overturned, a good call both on the reversal and on the play call. First and goal at the four for the Giants. They’re on the verge of tying what looked like a blowout at one point.

Droughns 1 run (Tyne kick)
Redskins 17, Giants 17

13:55—Zero first downs in the half for the Redskins. Obviously, that will have to change. Another three and out would be a killer.

12:25—Nice 37-yard KO return for Cartwright. The well-rested Washington offense can’t complain about field position.

11:05—Well, another three and out. Another punt. It looks like the defense is going to have to get another takeaway or this one will slip away.

10:46—One play and the Giants are nearly out of the hole. Disregard the talk of the crisp tackling from earlier in this article. It’s gone away for the most part.

9:29—Got the first by the nose of the football.

9:18—A drop by Shockey does the Redskins a huge favor.

9:00—Another big third down play. It seems like the Giants are converting most of them, it’s time for the D to put a stop to it.

8:30—Swatted down by Daniels, Redskins ball after the punt, decent field position at their 42.

7:33—Burned on a conservative play. Portis and Campbell miss connections on a handoff.

6:49—A good tackle by Springs saves a long gainer, maybe a touchdown, on a catch by Burress. Nother third down.

5:32—Bad tackling on that short one to Burress costs a touchdown and, maybe, the game if the Skins can’t get a first down. 21 unanswered points.

Burress 33 pass from Manning (Tyne kick)
Giants 24, Redskins 17

5:32—We’ll see what this team is made of now, that’s for sure.

5:25—Another good Cartwright runback, but if you can’t get a first down the field position doesn’t matter.

4:33—First catch for Randle El a game-saver for the Skins’ initial first down of the half.

3:55—Good defense by ARE on the next play as he fought for the ball and kept it away from the defender.

3:43—I don’t know why they’re throwing to Sellers at this point. Get the ball in the hands of your playmakers.

3:37—Another big third down. We haven’t seen Cooley in a while, it’s his turn.

3:22—Well, Cooley got the ball but it was after Campbell fumbled. It’s up to the defense to give the offense one more shot.

2:33—Thanks, Giants, for going out of bounds to stop the clock while coming short of the first down. The Skins now have a TO in their pockets.

2:19—Clutch return for ARE, again the Skins can’t complain about field position.

2:13—Really need one to Cooley.

2:00—Get rid of the ball, Jason. Two plays to get the first, need to go downfield.

1:53—Bad time for the first big penalty of the game. Holding calls back a first and goal at the 10.

1:42—Fourth down, it has to be time for Cooley.

1:34—OK, Santana will have to do.

1:07—Another goof by Rabach, snapping before Campbell was ready. Third and long again.

0:51—ARE with the catch. The Skins have a shot.

0:51—The Redskins have plenty of time to do whatever they want to. They have three shots at the end zone, they could run once or even twice as long as they don’t huddle. Bootleg is my call.

0:20—Wow, not sure about that. Betts caught in the backfield, game over.


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